Attention consumers and retailers, new laws in several states prohibit the sale or distribution of food packaging or foodservice ware containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
While new state Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl laws prohibit food packaging and foodservice ware containing PFAS in excess of 100 ppm. Some of these laws also require that when Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl are eliminated from food packaging and foodservice ware, the manufacturer use the least toxic alternative available.
While some state laws have limited the scope to food packaging or foodservice ware in direct contact with food, others are more expansive and include food boxes and shipping containers.
As a leader in safety and consistency, Kush.com has partnered with hemp based EarthStraws to provide an immediate solution for restaurants, retailers and consumers seeking a PFAS free drinking straw.
What are PFAS?
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of synthetic chemicals that have been used in a wide range of industrial and commercial applications for over 60 years. PFAS are highly persistent, meaning they do not break down easily in the environment or in the human body. This has led to their widespread presence in our air, water, soil, and food.
Why are PFAS Harmful?
PFAS are harmful because they can disrupt the normal functioning of the human body and are toxic to human health. They have been linked to a wide range of health effects, including reproductive and developmental problems, liver and kidney damage, immune system dysfunction, and cancer.
There are many additional reasons why Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl are harmful. One of the main concerns is their persistence in the environment and their ability to accumulate in the food chain. PFAS do not break down easily in natural environments and can persist for many years. They can also travel long distances in the air and water, which means they can contaminate water sources and ecosystems far from their original source. This is unlike home compostable items like hemp based EarthStraws.
What common products contain PFAS?
PFAS can be found in a wide range of common products, including food packaging, non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpets and furniture, waterproof clothing, and firefighting foam. These products are often treated with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl to make them water-repellent, stain-resistant, or non-stick. As a result, many people are exposed to PFAS on a daily basis without even realizing it.
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl are also used in a wide range of industrial and commercial applications. One of the most common uses of PFAS is in food packaging and foodservice ware. Many food packaging materials are treated with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl to make them water-repellent and grease-resistant. This includes fast food wrappers, pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags, and many other types of food packaging. While much of this can be replaced by hemp, the supply chain has not caught up.
Non-stick cookware is another common source of PFAS exposure. Many non-stick coatings are made with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl to make them non-stick and easy to clean. This includes Teflon-coated pots and pans, baking sheets, and other types of cookware.
In recent years, there has been growing concern about the health and environmental impacts of PFAS. This has led many states to pass laws that prohibit the sale or distribution of products containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl. For example, New York’s law will take effect December 31, 2022 (N.Y. Envt’l Cons. L. § 37-0301 et seq.), and California’s law will take effect January 1, 2023 (Cal. Health & Safety Code § 10900 et seq.). Similar laws in other states will take effect at various dates through January 1, 2024.
Consumers can also take steps to reduce their exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl by choosing PFAS-free products such as hemp straws and avoiding products that are likely to contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl.
How to Reduce Your Exposure to PFAS
The EPA recommends that individuals take certain steps to reduce their exposure to PFAS. One of the most effective ways to do this is to avoid products that contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl. Here are some tips to help you minimize your exposure:
- Avoid Stain and Water-Repellent Products: Stain and water-repellent products, such as carpeting, clothing, and furniture, are often treated with PFAS to make them resistant to stains and spills. To reduce your exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, consider avoiding these types of products.
- Use Alternatives to Non-Stick Cookware: Non-stick cookware is often coated with PFAS to make it non-stick. Consider using alternative types of cookware, such as cast iron or stainless steel, to reduce your exposure to PFAS.
- Filter Your Drinking Water: Most water treatment facilities do not remove perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl from drinking water. To reduce your exposure to PFAS in drinking water, consider using a water filter that is certified to remove PFAS.
- Read Product Labels: Look for products that are labeled as PFAS-free or PFOA-free. Keep in mind, however, that not all products that contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl are required to be labeled as such.
- Choose Products Made from Natural Materials: PFAS are often used in synthetic materials, such as nylon and polyester. To reduce your exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, choose products made from natural materials, such as hemp, cotton and wool.
So What’s the Deal with PFAS?
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) are a group of synthetic chemicals that are found in a wide variety of consumer products, including food packaging, cookware, and furniture. These chemicals are harmful to human health and the environment, and they are persistent in the environment, meaning they do not break down over time.
To reduce your exposure to perfluoroalkyls and polyfluoroalkyls, it is important to avoid products that contain these chemicals whenever possible. You can also take steps to filter your drinking water, read product labels, and choose products made from natural materials such as hemp to minimize your exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl.
As consumers become more aware of the dangers of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, there is a growing demand for products that are PFAS-free. One such product is hemp-based EarthStraws, which are PFAS-free, home compostable, and an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic straws. By choosing EarthStraws, you can reduce your exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl and help protect the environment at the same time.